Monday, December 28, 2015

Best Books of 2015

I hope you all had a very merry Christmas and also have some fun plans to wrap up 2015. As always this time of year, I love having a few year-end posts, rather than just my normal reviews. I love taking time to analyze and reflect on what I read over the year. In many ways, it helps me look ahead to the upcoming year and where I want to focus my reading in the future.

If you are a long-time reader, you know I have done a post like this the past three years. You can find the 20122013, and 2014 versions in the archives (or by following the links). It's so fun to look back and remember the books that have impacted me the most since I started blogging four years ago. This year, I did a lot more re-reads than ever before, but I am excluding those in consideration for these superlatives. To Kill A Mockingbird and Harry Potter can't win everything.
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Most Thought Provoking: Searching for Sunday ~ Easily one of my favorite books of the year. Rachel Held Evans spoke straight to my soul in this reflection on her experiences with the American church.

Most Unique: Life After Life ~ In my review, I called it "unique...but in a perfectly beautiful way." Almost a year after reading it, I remain of the opinion that it is "charming, whimsical, serious, and, above all, well-written."

Longest: Russka ~ I felt all 960 pages of this one.

Shortest: The Outsiders ~ I read it for my Adolescent Literature course. It was 192 pages of me thanking God I was never a teenage boy.

Most Recommended: Station Eleven ~ 5 star reviews are super rare for me, but this character-driven dystopian novel reached that level easily. I've been telling everyone about it since I finished it in March.

Most Thrilling: Jurassic Park ~ I have been a long time fan of the movies, but reading the book was way more fun than I anticipated. There were enough differences from the film to keep me on the edge of my seat. 

Most Educational: The Indifferent Stars Above ~ Before reading this book, I knew so little about the Donner party. This one was fascinating and a little frightening, too. 

Tastiest: Sous Chef ~ I read a lot of food-centric books, but this one felt so fresh to me (pun recognized, but not intentional).

Most Fun: The Royal We ~ Oh. My. Gosh. I loved this book. This fictional take on the relationship of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge is not for everyone, but it may as well have been written for me. I deem it the ultimate summer fun read.

Most Inspiring: Half the Sky The Underground Girls of Kabul Tiger Heart Three Cups of Tea ~ The oppression and abuse of women and girls around the world has steadily grown heavier on my heart. Reading about both those fighting for a chance and those helping them receive one shaped my worldview in so many ways this year. You can expect more books like these on my 2016 list.
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Each month this year, I found it consistently difficult to select my favorite book I read that month. I did, however, and here's the list of my favorites from each month this year. They each made the top spot for their own reasons. I encourage you to go back and read the posts and see why they made such an impact on me!

In retrospect, I did not have as many "absolutely loved this one" books as I have in years past. I feel as though I read a lot of good, not great books this year. Yes, there were some phenomenal ones, many of which are seen above. Overall, though, I am hoping 2016 will include more books I simply cannot put down because I love them way too much. 

What were your favorite books in 2014?


  1. What a good idea! I totally want to do a look back at books of 2015. But first... three more books to read in order to meet my goal of 100 books. Thanks for all of the recommendations! I have heard so much about Searching for Sunday. I can't believe I haven't read it yet! Especially as the amount of non fiction I read has increased a ton this year.

    1. You can totally finish! I believe in you! And, yeah, definitely read Searching for Sunday. I loved it. I want to read it again this year.

  2. Jurassic Park was one of my favorite reads this year, too :) I also loved Wives and Daughters, The Martian, Open Road Summer, and Cress.